1920's timber/fibro/weatherboard renovation

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  1. #1
    Senior Member activeman's Avatar
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    Default 1920's timber/fibro/weatherboard renovation

    Hi everyone,

    I recently purchased a 3 bedroom weatherboard in Perth, with the aim to DIY to bring it to our tastes.
    While I'm handy, I'm not a tradesman so I will be asking questions along the way.
    It seems that the best way to do this would be to ask questions in another relevant section, and keep this one for updates and progress.

    So without further ado, I give you my current weatherboard place (see attached pics).

    The house isn't in bad condition, but requires a bit of sweat equity.
    I have gained a lot of wisdom and hope by reading other threads in this section.
    Hopefully, you'll enjoy the progress shots as much as I do.

    There is no timeline on this build, since both of us work full-time.
    There is no set budget for this build, however both of us like to recycle/upcycle as much as possible.
    There is some order to the build, but as I've been learning (and reading), sometimes jobs do shift in priority upon discoveries made.
    The overall theme is to do the best possible job at all times.

    Thanks,
    Rob

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  2. #2
    Senior Member activeman's Avatar
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    Having had the place for 6 months, progress has already begun.

    Initial goals for the first year were to:
    1) Dig out the left side of the house to stop soil contact. This will also allow complete underfloor access of hopefully 500 - 1000 mm.
    2) Re-level the house (some corners have dropped), and re-stump if needed (yet to fully assess).
    3) Internal and external painting (the main bedroom seems to have the theme of "Moroccan Prostitute", however after 6 months, it's growing on me.)
    4) Get a dog.
    5) Get chooks.

    We thought that was attainable, although with no real timeline, it isn't that important. I would rather learn how to do things correctly and do a good quality job.

    So far goals 1 and 4 have been completed. Photos to come...

    In this time, I have also done little side projects, such as building a large verge garden (10m by 5m), a gate to keep the dog in, dog-proofed the remaining non-chewed reticulation, replace taps and built a brick path from the gate to the driveway. It was here that I learnt that fingers don't belong between hammers and bricks. However with my distal phalanx fracture healed, measuring up for re-leveling can begin.

  3. #3
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    Keep the pics coming. Love a old weather board reno. Dump the purple before its to late. It will grow on you

    and before you know it you will start to like it.

  4. #4
    Old Chippy 6K
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    Looks like it'll give you years of fun and enjoyment - usually runs at two years of ageing to each year of fun and enjoyment . . .

    I note that the sheeting in that purple room and in the kitchen on walls and ceiling and probably in other places too (eg: behind that timber lining) is quite likely to be asbestos in a house that age.

    No need t be too concerned, but read the Asbestos stickies so you are prepared. You should wear masks and take care with all dusts when doing a reno in any case.
    Advice from me on this forum is general and for guidance based on information given by the member posing the question. Not to be used in place of professional advice from people appropriately qualified in the relevant field. All structural work must be approved and constructed to the BCA or other relevant standards by suitably licensed persons. The person doing the work and reading my advice accepts responsibility for ensuring the work done accords with the applicable law.

  5. #5
    Senior Member activeman's Avatar
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    goldie1 - It's quite interesting showing people that colour for the first time. Reminds you just how bad it is.
    bloss - Cheers for the info. I did have a good read of the stickies, and have been taking precautions

    So after clearing the left hand side of the house, it was time to build a gate that would actually hold the dog in.



    Here's a photo that shows the left hand side of the house proper. The red rectangle shows the area of house that had sand in contact with the area of the house. If you look closely, you'll see that the paint is a different colour to rest of the house, and flaking in big patches.
    A building inspector suggested that I put a soakwell in that side, still deciding on the best place to put it. Any suggestions?



    It is here that I have now gained access to the stumps, which appear to be in good nick. I have read that each stump should be free of soil contact for 400mm, which I have now completed.
    However, the slack bastard that installed the front verandah clearly thought that one entire corner did not need a stump if it was to be resting directly on sand. Photo to come.

    Finally, our verge garden. Very simple to set up, using the No-Dig method. Requires very little maintenance, and is now exploding with veges.

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails photo-1-.jpg   lhs.jpg   385734_10150719778723751_119116796_n.jpg   534005_10150719780298751_1405629103_n.jpg   541179_10150756292843751_287211061_n.jpg  


  6. #6
    Old Chippy 6K
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    Good thing you've put some feed out for the termites too . . . aka sleepers . . . Clear the soil away from that tree (melaleuca?) in the middle of the veggie patch or it'll rot.
    Advice from me on this forum is general and for guidance based on information given by the member posing the question. Not to be used in place of professional advice from people appropriately qualified in the relevant field. All structural work must be approved and constructed to the BCA or other relevant standards by suitably licensed persons. The person doing the work and reading my advice accepts responsibility for ensuring the work done accords with the applicable law.

  7. #7
    Senior Member BaysideNana's Avatar
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    That's what I call a quaint house...it's really cute!! The purple wall falls into the category 'what WERE they thinking' but fortunately it's only paint and easily changed. Suppose I've been quilty of similar when, many years ago, my (then) 4yo DS wanted his bedroom black/red/white with the ceiling being black full gloss. We decided it was his room and he had to sleep there although I did curse him when trying to paint the ceiling. Wallpaper had lots of white background with black pencil-sketched spanish galleons at sea so this brightened the room, then I painted all the furniture red and dyed the bedspread to match. It looked great when finished, although I often wonder what successive owners of that house think when they have to cope with the black ceiling, which is probably long gone...who knows?

    Love your vegie garden, the plan was to do something similar at this house but the vegie garden is in the backyard as the house is on the market and not everyone wants a verge garden...maybe next time!

  8. #8
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    Maybe get rid of that platform thing under the clothesline and clear right along the fence with a narrow garden bed

    and a low retaining wall. Don't like soak wells unless there is no alternative.(particularly right near your stumps) Sandy soil drains well if

    you can get a fall away from the house and to wards the front.

  9. #9
    Senior Member activeman's Avatar
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    hi bloss - the beauty of the No-Dig method is that the soil sinks over time. Three months on, and the soil level is back to the original in the first photo, although the quality of the soil is much better. I'm pretty sure it's a melaleuca.
    Hopefully I can pick your brains about some of the carpentry issues that I will have later.

    hi baysidenana - there is no reason that you couldn't do this in the backyard either. But at the end of the day, if the new owners don't like a verge-side vege garden, then they can knock it over and have good soil for grass,. flowers etc. Bit wasted if they use it for parking though.
    I plan on being here a long time. All positive comments from the neighbours so far (and a few wives who have dragged their husbands across to look.)
    Also, what inspired black?

    hi goldie1 - your suggestion to make it wider didn't occur to me. Initially, I thought i would keep the same line into the front garden, but then I decided to build the white gate. Ive planted a Hardenbergia to grow up the white fence and will probably shape it along the side fence.

    cheers, rob

  10. #10
    Senior Member activeman's Avatar
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    First hurdle in the process.

    In the interests of keeping this thread for progress, and other threads in the relevant subsection, I hope that you can give me some advice on the following link.

    Link - http://www.renovateforum.com/f198/ad...10/#post891388 - Link

    Cheers, Rob

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    hi, speaking as a qualified arborist, what your effectively doing to those trees is suffocating them, the top surface roots need access to air, your also changing the way the water sits on the ground, it may take many months or years for the tree to decline, but once it starts theres no going back.

    if you like these trees you should move the garden bed somewhere more suitable. goodluck

  12. #12
    Senior Member activeman's Avatar
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    hi vector101,

    is there a certain radius that should be maintained around the tree to prevent this?
    the soil has fallen back to the "before shot photo" level within 1-2 months.

    cheers, rob

  13. #13
    Senior Member activeman's Avatar
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    So here is a current picture of the soil around the base of the tree.
    Should I take any more away?
    If so, what radius should I keep clear around the tree.

    cheers, rob

    photo-7-.jpg

  14. #14
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    it really depends on the depth of the soil, a couple of cms is probably ok, but more than that is an issue, my recommendation to you would be to remove all soil you've added to the dripline of the tree, i would then use an organic mulch, and mulch right to the dripline (depth of 75-100), i know it may be inconvenient but to guarantee the health of the tree it will need to be done, we see trees dying from grade changes and damage from construction work to often, homeowners often don't realise how long it takes for a tree to die.

    sorry to be the bearer of bad news but at least its not to late

    G6885 Preventing Construction Damage to Trees | University of Missouri Extension

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    House Husband - 1K Club Member
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    I think the peppie trees will be pretty effective at keeping the vegies at bay....

    Those things are bullet proof to the extreme!

  16. #16
    Senior Member activeman's Avatar
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    Thread deserves an update.

    Progress has been fairly slow due to work and life, but still fun. We have uncovered a large tree on its side under the house which has presented a few problems.

    Rotted end of the verandah (as promised earlier) -



    Tree bough where missing stump should be -



    Previous deck installer using tree stump + piece o wood + scrap metal instead of stump -



    Progress so far




    All up a lot of good quality materials have been found from the salvage yard - all up ive spent less than 30 bucks on good quality jarrah.

    Thanks for all the help and comments so far in regards to questions (asked in the appropriate forum).
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails photo-6-.jpg   photo-9-.jpg   photo-11-.jpg   photo-12-.jpg  

  17. #17
    Senior Member activeman's Avatar
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    Extra photo to show how rotted the joist with the most load on it was, and how high the sand level was under the house. Still I expected it to be worse.

    photo-13-.jpg

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    Senior Member activeman's Avatar
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  20. #20
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    Quick update:

    Stoked that progress is being made after six days of digging out sand from under the house. The sub-floor was filled with sand up to the joists, making it easy for termites to get past old ant-capping. Luckily, there is no evidence of the little guys or much rot underneath. Termite inspector out tomorrow...

  21. #21
    Senior Member activeman's Avatar
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  22. #22
    Senior Member activeman's Avatar
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    It's nice to be able to add some pictures of progress...

    Deck going on, Day 1,





    Day 2,



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  23. #23
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    welcome, gotta to love that soil (sorry sand) in Perth, it must make it difficult. Its a bit late now, but since you kept the old hardwood joist on the front deck, it would have paid to put down some mathoid/dpc strips ontop of the joists to give it some protection from water, even though its covered a bit of extra time results in a longer term job.
    cheers Look out if I have a tape measure in my hand.....I'm upto something

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    I'm not sure if my eyes are deceiving me but it looks like you have ends joined not over joists with some piece of decking underneath the join? Also screws down into the butt join? Really, all highly irregular and destined to fail. If this is the case, pull them up and join the boards over joists two screws per board. There are posts on here about ideal distance from end and edge of decking to screw.

    I'm hoping it's just my eyes.

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    Hi activeman. Here's a modified picture of what shauck is talking about.

    Black arrows are ends joined not over a joist and Green arrows are the screws down into the butt join.


    photo20.jpg

  26. #26
    Old Chippy 6K
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    Quote Originally Posted by shauck View Post
    I'm not sure if my eyes are deceiving me but it looks like you have ends joined not over joists with some piece of decking underneath the join? Also screws down into the butt join? Really, all highly irregular and destined to fail. If this is the case, pull them up and join the boards over joists two screws per board. There are posts on here about ideal distance from end and edge of decking to screw.

    I'm hoping it's just my eyes.
    Nope not seeing things - and that must be pulled up as it will be dangerous and fail early.

    1. All decking joins must be over a joist.
    2. All decking should go onto at least 3 joists ie: not simply between 2 joists unless there is no alternative, and that does not mean because you want to use up short decking pieces . . . and
    3. Fixings must be no closer than 10mm from an end or edge - those where you've tried to use two screws into the joint rather than two at each end will simply pop up in use.

    The deck will be illegal and dangerous unless you lift and redo those boards properly - sorry to give bad news, but IMO this is not optional.
    Advice from me on this forum is general and for guidance based on information given by the member posing the question. Not to be used in place of professional advice from people appropriately qualified in the relevant field. All structural work must be approved and constructed to the BCA or other relevant standards by suitably licensed persons. The person doing the work and reading my advice accepts responsibility for ensuring the work done accords with the applicable law.

  27. #27
    Senior Member activeman's Avatar
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    barney - i could still use malthoid for the rest of it though, cheers for the idea.

    shauck and bloss - i can see what your talking about, however, the deck supplier and installer did actually suggest to me that I could get away without joining over a joist with no support at all. The uneven deck bits where I started doing this are clearly not level.

    So seeking out a carpenter's advice, I was told that I could actually brace the underneath using decent size off cuts. Would this be an old technique perhaps? The spots where I have done this are actually quite strong and level. Comments on this are welcome.

    At the end of the day, lifting and inserting two extra joists is not going to be the end of the world, since I'll already have the position of the boards set out correctly.

    gkounardi - thanks for the pic.

  28. #28
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    Lift them and put a joist in where joins are. That's definitely cool.

    Honestly, the cheapest/ easiest solutions would be to cut back some of the boards to a joist and replace the others with longer ones. If you have a multitool you don't even need to take all of them up to cut them back, only the ones that will then be too short.

    Don't forget to pull those screws out of the butt joins (maybe replace those ones) and fix them properly (see Bloss's comment) and some of the screws are too far back from the end. Move them too.

    Check out some of the posts in this forum to see how it's done. There's quite a lot of info here and some great examples of decks.

    Cheers, Su.

  29. #29
    Senior Member activeman's Avatar
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    Su, I have read a lot of this forum and really appreciate the advice that I get. However, being reasonably new to renovating I do tend to follow the advice of suppliers etc. I expect that they know their product and the best way it should be applied, although it doesn't appear so in this instance.
    So often, I use this forum to cross check information that I am told.

    Anyway, this has not been a hard fix. Bought some extra joists yesterday, fitted them and continued along with the deck for the moment. The easiest way for me to fix the previous errors is to number all the boards, lift them, add joists and then replace. To me, the most time consuming part of installation is sanding boards, whereas aligning and screwing is quite a quick process.

    Cheers
    Rob

  30. #30
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    I'm glad it was easily fixed. I really can't believe the advise you were given. Astoundingly bad. Don't forget those other screws over the butt joins.

    Cheers, Su.

  31. #31
    Old Chippy 6K
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    Quote Originally Posted by shauck View Post
    I'm glad it was easily fixed. I really can't believe the advise you were given. Astoundingly bad. Don't forget those other screws over the butt joins.

    Cheers, Su.
    and whacking in two runs of joists is the way to go - and you need only use them to attach where the end joins are. Will make a big difference and give another 90 years of use.

    BTW - I am bemused that you think suppliers might give useful and accurate advice. There are exceptions and often if they specialise in dealing with the trades some can know quite a bit and can be helpful, but those who deal with the general public, well - not so much. And many older guys (there were really no women in trades until the last 20 years or so, still way too few!) are not up to date with current techniques (or rules) so their advice is not useful.

    Have to say - it has never been good practice, or even accepted practice, to have joins unsupported by framing except as a short term temporary measure. That's the sort of thing one comes across where work has been done by an owner-builder or handy person or simply a carpenter/builder who has had no training - and like many such techniques they can last for a very long time when done sufficiently well, they just usually don't because they are not done well.
    Advice from me on this forum is general and for guidance based on information given by the member posing the question. Not to be used in place of professional advice from people appropriately qualified in the relevant field. All structural work must be approved and constructed to the BCA or other relevant standards by suitably licensed persons. The person doing the work and reading my advice accepts responsibility for ensuring the work done accords with the applicable law.

  32. #32
    Senior Member activeman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bloss View Post

    BTW - I am bemused that you think suppliers might give useful and accurate advice. There are exceptions and often if they specialise in dealing with the trades some can know quite a bit and can be helpful, but those who deal with the general public, well - not so much. And many older guys (there were really no women in trades until the last 20 years or so, still way too few!) are not up to date with current techniques (or rules) so their advice is not useful.
    Well in my line of work, you would hope that I know what I was doing. I expect the same of others.
    I still reckon the older guys still have a bit to offer, just maybe not up to current standards.

  33. #33
    Senior Member activeman's Avatar
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    So long time no post - I found renovating and then posting about it just too difficult. It was more fun to dig in and get the hands dirty than taking pictures and looking smug.

    Here is the old girl in renovated form.

    main.jpg

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